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Peony and Parakeet

Dreaming with Colored Pencils

This week, I share a fantasy horse illustration from my colored pencil journal and show how the new puppy has started her job as a studio dog.

Fantasy Horse by Paivi Eerola of Peony and Parakeet. Colored pencil art.

“Hey Paivi,” I said to myself, “Now when we have a new puppy, it would be cool to have some illustrations of it on the blog.”
“But pencils are my escape!” I heard myself shouting. “I want to use them for dreaming, not for everyday things. I want to draw a horse instead!”

Dreaming with Colored Pencils – and Horses!

For me, the figure of a horse is like a hanger for all the things I love. My horses are not realistic, but play horses that connect me with the world of fantasy and everything pretty. Many like to draw faces for the same reason, but for me, horses work better.

Drawing with colored pencils.

Saima and Stella were in the studio resting while I drew. Saima doesn’t like sleeping alone, and she prefers my lap to Stella’s, so she was not fully happy.

Beagles as artist's studiodogs.

I think the dark feathers were inspired by her. I love soft puppy fur, tassels, pompoms, and feathers, but also metal watches and all kinds of decorative swirls.

Coloring details with colored pencils.

I used to have a black ink pen for this kind of detailed illustrations (see the classes Animal Inkdom and Magical Inkdom), but recently, it’s been colored pencils from start to finish. The upcoming class, Intuitive Coloring, has inspired me to draw and color more – or should I say as much as I can, because taking care of Saima has often been a full-time job for my husband and me!

Beagle puppy.

Our house and my little studio have changed to serve Saima’s needs. We count days when she’s older, and we can decorate again, but at the same time, we are aware of how fast time flies and that we must take most of Saima’s curiosity and cuteness.

Artist's studio.

Dreamy Look with Six Pencils Only

Here’s a closeup of the feathers. Instead of coloring them black only, I used pink, blue, yellow and green, to make the dark color shine.

Colored pencil fantasy art, a detail. By Paivi Eerola of Peony and Parakeet.

I only used six pencils for this project – pink, two greens, yellow, blue, and black. However, by layering colors, I was able to get a wide variety of tones.

Using only a few pencils to create colored pencil art.

Here’s a closeup of the horse. The long mane was so much fun to color!

A detail of a horse illustration by Paivi Eerola of Peony and Parakeet.

I hope to see you in my next class, Intuitive Coloring. Thank you all who have signed up already! The early-bird sale ends on August 23rd, so sign up now! I am looking forward to dreaming with colored pencils together in September!

8 thoughts on “Dreaming with Colored Pencils

  1. Stella is certainly very sweet and tolerant to share you with Saima and accept her need to be close! You have created amazing work with your limited palette!

  2. Oooh, your puppy is too adorable 🙂 I love your horse. Reminds me of the old carousels :).

  3. I love those feathers. So soft and pretty too! Beautiful fantasy horse. I don’t use colour pencils much but I think I will give them a go soon. And not to forget… I adore your new puppy.

  4. In level 4 lock down and have to stay in my home except for short walks up an empty street I am longing for something new again and you know how much I love your teaching and your work Paivi. I have a badly damaged shoulder from splitting firewood that needs surgery but that won’t be happening in the near future. I can manage drawing using my hand and wrist mainly. I may be a bit tight as a result but my Hag’s Book of Days doodles are not tight so we will see how I go. I am up to my eyeballs in painkillers too at present so this does lend itself to dreamy , even slightly outrageous work.

    1. Hi Jan, I am excited that you signed up, and I hope you’ll love coloring intuitively and softly! I am so sorry about your shoulder and having the necessary surgery postponed + lockdown doesn’t sound like a good equation. I hope that the class will bring joy to your life, and I am looking forward to seeing what you will create.

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